Out of a Far Country: A gay son’s journey to God. A broken mother’s search for hope by Christopher Yuan and Angela Yuan
In the fall of 2010 I heard Christopher speak at my university, where he told his story as well as telling a bit of his parents’ story. His parents are Chinese immigrants to the US and did their best to raise him with values of a Chinese household. Not only was he a strong speaker but he told a powerful story, one especially relevant to today’s world. Then I learned he wrote a book with his mother, going even deeper into the story. The book is set up to two sides of the same stories, alternating between his mother’s side, and then his side.
Angela especially held high hopes for the family. But her marriage was failed, and her son came out as gay, something that went against all Chinese values that Angela believed in. Believing her son had contracted some sort of sickness, she tried to cure him. In one case, she took Christopher to a group of Scientologists, who promised to heal Christopher, even though the Yuan family was not a religious one.
She thought that worked, until Christopher was an adult. So she gave him an ultimatum: choose his family, or choose his homosexuality. He chose the latter, and she was devastated. But her search for hope led her to Christ and she learned to love her son, despite disagreeing with his choices. So Angela sought to show her son love at every opportunity so that he too could find Christ.
Christopher felt he was a misunderstood child. He could not understand why his parents couldn’t accept him the way he was, and so he left his family, preferring the company of his friends, who supported his lifestyle. It wasn’t long before his friends introduced him to drugs. Addiction soon followed, and then dealing—rather heavy dealing, which led to his arrest and imprisonment.
Out of a Far Country is in many ways a modern and true life story of the prodigal son, a story which includes both mother and son as they each have their own prodigal ways. It is a story of unconditional love. It is the story of grace and redemption.
This book is very much a memoir. Though it is not meant to be instructional, there are many lessons which can be gained. It is a good resource for parents who may be unsure of how to approach the subject of their child’s sexuality, especially when they disagree with the child’s decision. It is a great book for those who want to minister to the gay and lesbian community. Christopher mentions many times when his mother’s attempts at converting him failed, and why her approaches weren’t effective.
Out of a Far Country is a fast read, as well as a thoughtful one. One of the key points hit on, is Christopher’s view of “Holy Sexuality.” It does not try to answer every question regarding homosexuality, nor does it claim to speak for everyone who is homosexual. This is the story of one son and his family. If you read this book and try to pull a political agenda out of it, then you have completely missed the point.
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255